‘DHAMAKA’ REVIEW | 19 November, 2021

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RSVP Movies, Ram Madhvani Films, Lotte CultureWorks, Global Gate Entertainment and Lionsgate’s Dhamaka is an action thriller. A celebrated ex-television news anchor, Arjun Pathak (Kartik Aaryan), gets a phone from a person who sounds and behaves like a terrorist, on his radio show. He sees this as a golden chance to get back his TV show and once again become a news anchor of repute. But is he prepared for what is in store for him and others around him?

The film is based on Korean film The Terror Live. Puneet Sharma and Ram Madhvani have written a story which starts on a pretty exciting note but it soon degenerates as it progresses beyond the first few reels. The duo’s screenplay becomes repetitive after the initial reels and, therefore, fails to grip the audience’s attention as much as in the earlier portions. The unidentified caller keeps insisting on having the minister apologise on the show so many times that it gets irritating after some time. Also, although the anti-terrorist squad is at work, there is so much importance given to the happenings in the studio of the radio station that the drama somehow looks lopsided and unpalatable. In short, the elements of a thriller disappear after some time and make the drama appear more monotonous than exciting. The climax does not impress half as much as it should’ve. In fact, the ending makes one wonder why the film was made at all. Dialogues, also written by the duo, are good.

Kartik Aaryan does a fine job as Arjun Pathak. But somewhere, the script lets him down, because of which his performance does not have the same impact after a point of time. Amruta Subhash is excellent as Arjun Pathak’s TRP-minded boss. Mrunal Thakur, in a special appearance, acts with ease as Soumya Mehra Pathak. Vikas Kumar makes his presence amply felt in a guest appearance in the role of ATS’ Praveen Kamath. Vishwajeet Pradhan has his moments as Subhash Mathur. Special mention must be made of his wonderful diction and voice modulation. Soham Majumdar is fairly nice as Raghubir. Aeklavya Tomar (as Asif Alam), Aishwarya Chaudhary (as radio technician Mala), Mahendra Singh Bisht (as Bisht), Ritviq Joshi (as TV technician Raunaq), Dilip Vasu (as TV technician Jay), Ashish Ranglani (as TV technician Ashish), Dhwani Acharya (as Ketki), Anuj Gurwara (as INL news anchor Manas Sethi), Priya Tandon (as TRTV news anchor), Samriddhi Chandola (as daily news anchor Karuna Shah), Tuhinashu Chaturvedi (as National 365 news anchor Abhimanyu Murthi), Arzoo Gujral (as Arzoo), and the others lend decent support.

Ram Madhvani’s direction is good but the same cannot be said about the script co-written by him and which is the base of any film. Because of the weaknesses in the script, Madhvani has not been able to make a tight and taut thriller which would get the viewers on the edge of their seats. Vishal Khurana’s music and background score are fair. The background music ought to have been better. Puneet Sharma’s lyrics are alright. Manu Anand’s cinematography deserves praise. Manohar Verma’s action and stunt scenes are quite thrilling. Nidhi Rungta’s production designing and Richard Viagulam’s art direction deserve mention. Editing (Monisha R. Baldawa and Amit Karia) is quite sharp.

On the whole, Dhamaka is too ordinary a fare and will, therefore, not find much appreciation.

Released on 19-11-’21 on Netflix.